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Twitter Reacts to Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby Ruling

hobby lobbyJihadist militants are declaring Islamic law in Iraq and President Obama is nominating a new Veterans Affairs secretary, but the biggest news of the day has to do with birth control pills. The U.S. Supreme Court Monday handed down its much-anticipated ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc, the case concerning Obamacare's contraception mandate. 

The court ruled 5-4 that the Affordable Care Act violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993 by requiring "closely held" private corporations such as Hobby Lobby to cover certain forms of birth control in employee health plans despite alleged religious objections. Reason's Damon Root summarizes the decision here, and analyzes what's at stake in the case here. The Court's full opinion is available here.

When news of the ruling broke, Twitter immediately lit up with cheers, jeers, and witticisms (or attempted witticisms anyway). While we're awaiting more substantial analysis and commentary to be published, let's take a look at how the Twitterverse is reacting. Here's a sampling from some libertarian types: 

Over the counter, people. Just make birth control available over the counter. This shouldn't be difficult.

— Lucy Steigerwald (@LucyStag) June 30, 2014

Ech. This sounds like the worst of all worlds. They can invoke an exception, but only for contraception? Dying to see that logic.

— Julian Sanchez (@normative) June 30, 2014

Going to go stand in the corner for people who agree with this ruling but think gov't should just directly provide free contraception.

— Julian Sanchez (@normative) June 30, 2014

Why is "equality for women" considered synonymous with "forcing other people to pay for your birth control?"

— Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti) June 30, 2014

So now Hobby Lobby gets to strap their women down to tables and force them to breed, right?

— Scott Shackford (@SShackford) June 30, 2014

Hey. It's wrong for government to mandate employers pay for birth control. It's wrong for government to mandate employers pay for Viagra.

— Julie Borowski (@JulieBorowski) June 30, 2014

I don't even see it as a religious issue. I'm pro birth control. I'm against government mandates. #HobbyLobby

— Julie Borowski (@JulieBorowski) June 30, 2014

#HobbyLobby is less a disagreement over contraception than a disagreement over the nature of rights.

— Jim Antle (@jimantle) June 30, 2014

To every conservative whining about #HobbyLobby: advocate for OTC birth control or please shut the hell up.

— Cathy Reisenwitz (@CathyReisenwitz) June 30, 2014

One angry release in my inbox says the decision "enshrines religious privilege." Much like the Bill of Rights.

— Jim Antle (@jimantle) June 30, 2014

U.S. progressives not doing a lot today to dispel the notion they believe everything not forbidden must be mandatory & vice versa.

— Franklin Harris (@FranklinH3000) June 30, 2014

This won't get me a speaking spot at the next libertarian event, but I'm not convinced Hobby Lobby's religious freedom was ever at issue.

— S.M. Oliva (@skipoliva) June 30, 2014

There's still no good reason why birth control shouldn't be sold over-the-counter. http://t.co/ZoCNvC6sUT

— Peter Suderman (@petersuderman) June 30, 2014

And from non-libertarian circles:

"Govt could assume the cost of providing contraceptives to women unable to obtain coverage due to their employers’ religious beliefs."

— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) June 30, 2014

So... employers will just pay for contraception via taxes, and that's ok. Got it.

— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) June 30, 2014
So far, this is a narrow ruling only that it didn't give Hobby Lobby MORE than it asked for.
— Irin Carmon (@irin) June 30, 2014

The Constitution is a dumb old deal between a bunch of dead dudes and we should get rid of it

— Malcolm Harris (@BigMeanInternet) June 30, 2014

Looks like RFRA exemption will require signature from owners of 100% of shares, creates interesting family/holdout dynamics @asymmetricinfo

— Peter Hurley (@huadpe) June 30, 2014

If Dems hadn't passed RFRA in 1993, Hobby Lobby would've had no case.

— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) June 30, 2014

All of the people who voted in favour of #HobbyLobby have one thing in common and it's not a vagina. #SCOTUS pic.twitter.com/IG8vf93bm3

— Elizabeth Plank (@feministabulous) June 30, 2014

I'm waiting for some brogressive to start saying the Hobby Lobby decision is a secret win for progressives despite what women say.

— Asher Huey (@asherhuey) June 30, 2014

#HobbyLobby decision is another defeat for an administration that has repeatedly crossed constitutional lines → http://t.co/LS1oqCmnVi

— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) June 30, 2014

You also know too that Hobby Lobby already voluntarily pays for pill, right @SandraFluke ?

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) June 30, 2014

SCOTUS decision is a victory for unborn babies! #hobbylobby

— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) June 30, 2014

#SCOTUS #HobbyLobby decision will most hurt women who work hourly jobs & struggle to make ends meet. #NotMyBossBusiness

— NARAL (@NARAL) June 30, 2014

Disturbed by #HobbyLobby decision allowing some CEOs to deny women employees contraceptive care based on religious belief #notmybossbusiness

— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) June 30, 2014

I'm kind of hungry for lunch, but my employer doesn't buy my lunch for me. It gives me cash to buy food. Which means I'm going to starve.

— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) June 30, 2014

Now that Hobby Lobby denies birth control to their female employees, will they deny Viagra to their male employees? #NotMyBossBusiness

— Sen. Barbara Boxer (@SenatorBoxer) June 30, 2014

"President Obama believes...women should make personal health care decisions for themselves." —@PressSechttp://t.co/b4tqL3oo0v #HobbyLobby

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) June 30, 2014

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • New Normal||

    "You also know too that Hobby Lobby already voluntarily pays for pill, right" Is this true? Somebody please do research for me because I'm too lazy right now.

  • New Normal||

    Also, if you don't do the research for me then you're against my right to not do research.

  • MJGreen||

    I know they're only asking for an exception of a few contraceptives that they consider abortifacients. I believe their plans already did, or they have no objection to now, provide other forms of contraception.

  • bassasaurusrex||

    That is correct. The only things they wanted exempted were abortion pills. (the most popular of which is already available OTC-Plan B)

  • ||

    "So now Hobby Lobby gets to strap their women down to tables and force them to breed, right?"

    Literal LOL. Scott Shackford wins the 2014 Reductio ad Absurdum award.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    He was being sarcastic, FYI.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    Tell you what, when you are the one being strapped to a table and forced to breed, let me know if it matters that it is being done sarcastically, OK?

    "Really? That is what you are packing? Great. I always wanted to prove that size doesn't matter. Oh.yeah.like.that. Oh, it isn't in yet? That explains the lack of fireworks."

  • Michael Hihn||

    Tell you what, when you are the one being strapped to a table and forced to breed, let me know if it matters that it is being done sarcastically, OK?

    How many others are bat-shit crazy enough to believe that a woman who buys her own contraception is the same as being raped? Your contempt for women went out of style 50 years ago, OK?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Meanwhile, low-income women -- working or otherwise -- have had access to free contraception and family planning since, ummm, THE FORD ADMINISTRATION.

    Title X. Planned Parenthood. Hello? Hello?

  • ||

    Not to mention the oldest form of free contraception... You know, the kind that doesn't depend on an employer OR the gov't!

    Those damned Christians and their oppression. Fuck their "personal responsibility" in all it's forms!

  • ||

    I think a contract tying abstinence to pay would actually play well at Hobby Lobby.

    The administration wants (wanted) employers to offer discounts for preventative behavior (discounted gym memberships, setting up employee wellness programs, etc.). I can't see why it should only extend to fat lazy people rather than people who might contract an STD or get pregnant.

    Based on the honor system with retroactive revocation. Mutually nullifiable at any point.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    The Constitution is a dumb old deal between a bunch of dead dudes and we should get rid of it
    — Malcolm Harris (@BigMeanInternet) June 30, 2014

    Wow. Came right out and said it.

    I don't think he was kidding.

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    From what I know of him, I don't think he was either.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    So, there is really a hashtag for #notmybossbusiness which advocates the idea that what form of compensation your boss agrees to provide you in return for your labor is none of his or her business?

    Proper use of the possessive is not the only thing that some of our Senators do not seem to grasp.

    For the next cycle, I want a pony. Never mind why I should get a pony in return for my work, that is nobody's business but the legislature's.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    I want my pay in weapons grade uranium. #NotMyBossBusiness

  • pogi||

    I prefer to be paid in women, but only those that have access to birth control.

  • GregM||

    I'm seeing a fair number of comments regarding making birth control available OTC. I certainly agree as regards the traditional contraceptive pill, which is what I suppose most people are referring to.

    However, it's worth noting as a factual matter that one of the methods of emergency birth control to which the Hobby Lobby plaintiffs objected, the "Plan B" emergency contraceptive, is in fact available over the counter. Both of the non-emergency contraceptives objected to, two methods of IUD, are implanted by a physician and require an examination to ensure that the device is appropriate for the person. One could make the case for making the insertion legal for nurses, nurse practitioners or other health care professionals; one would have to be pretty hard-core to suggest that self-insertion or insertion by a completely untrained person is a good idea.

  • Kure'i||

    "Now that Hobby Lobby denies birth control to their female employees, will they deny Viagra to their male employees?"

    Do all employer mandated insurance plans cover Viagra? Or is this just nonsense? If they don't cover it, perhaps we need a Sandra Fluke... of Viagra. Eh... no, on second thought, we don't. One is enough, and Viagra is probably only necessary when feminists are present, anyway.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    It is definitely necessary when Sandra Fluke is present.

    I'd expect her to lobby fiercely for Viagra benefits, as they would directly subsidize her own love life.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Don't they teach Sex Ed any more?

    Umm, Viagra is the exact opposite of birth control and abortifacients. But why let that get in the way of hysteria?

  • Andrew S.||

    This is how twitter reacted to my response! (re: the idiocy of people thinking SCOTUSblog was the actual SCOTUS)

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    ACLU is on the wrong side, just got this in an email from Anthony Romero:

    Today, a dangerous precedent has been set that gives some companies a license to discriminate on the basis of religious beliefs. The Supreme Court ruled, in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, that owners of closely-held businesses can use personal religious objections to take away a woman's right to contraceptive insurance coverage guaranteed to her by law.

    When reproduction clashes with religion, ACLU bails on 1A.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    Not surprising. The Constitution is nothing but a prop to them to be picked up and put aside as it suits them.

  • Chumby||

    ACLU is still firmly behind 2A though, right?

  • bassasaurusrex||

    Something that is GRANTED by STATUTE never and I mean NEVER trumps Constitutional rights (i.e. religious freedom). Furthermore, as it was granted by statute, birth control is a privilege not a right.** It may seem nit picky but in a court it matters.

    **the exception being voting since the franchise is granted by the state but the general concept of being allowed to vote is mentioned in the Constitution.

  • Winston||

    Going to go stand in the corner for people who agree with this ruling but think gov't should just directly provide free contraception.

    Former Reason editor?

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "I'm waiting for some brogressive to start saying the Hobby Lobby decision is a secret win for progressives despite what women say.
    — Asher Huey (@asherhuey) June 30, 2014"

    Yes, yes, let the Hate flow through you. Gooooooood.

  • sasob||

    All of the people who voted in favour of #HobbyLobby have one thing in common and it's not a vagina.

    Yes, and all the people who voted against it all have one thing in common, too, and it's not a vagina - it's an asshole.

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